Is Mediation an Option In My Divorce?
In many cases, mediation is not only an option, it is mandatory.
In North Carolina, if a party files for equitable distribution the parties will be required to attend mediation prior to having a trial. The court requires that the parties attend mediation in an attempt to resolve the parties’ marital assets and debts. It is also possible to attend mediation prior to filing for equitable distribution. Mediation allows the parties the opportunity for an experienced mediator in family law to discuss possible settlement options with the parties.
There are some situations that mediation may not occur. If the parties have a history of domestic violence or substance abuse the parties may not be ordered to attend mediation for safety reasons. Furthermore, if one of the parties lives out of county, they may be able to waive mediation.
At a typical mediation both parties are represented by their respective attorneys. Also, the mediator is an attorney. It is not necessary that the parties be represented by an attorney to participate in mediation. If the parties are able to come to an agreement during mediation, the parties can enter into a separation agreement or a consent order.